If you’ve ever wanted to dream in technicolor, I have excellent news for you: Lisa Frank bedding is a thing, and it can be yours for the low, low price of $44. Your one limitation is bed size; these magical sheets and comforter are only available in twin and full sizes, so if you’ve got a queen or king hanging out in your bedroom, you might be out of luck (and, I mean, yes, it’s technically meant for kids, so…). But, I mean, that doesn’t mean you can’t get it anyway; after all, you’re going to need a blanket to cuddle up with during those long winter nights spent lounging on your couch in front of Netflix we’ve got coming our way shortly, right?
The bedding set features Hunter, the brightly-colored leopard cub (or maybe cheetah — I’ve seen him referred to as both) who usually spends his time palling around with Forrest the equally-colorfully tiger cub. Hunter is solo here, but that’s not stopping my wildly overactive imagination from making up a huge and overly complicated backstory explaining where Forrest is right now and why he’s left his leopard buddy all on his lonesome. In any event, the full set can be acquired from Walmart for $44; it includes the comforter, a flat sheet, a fitted sheet, and pillowcases. You can also buy the sheets and the comforter separately if you’re only after one or the other — the sheets are $16 for the twin set and $34 for the full set (online only), while the comforter is $35 for the twin/full size (which, I assume, will fit either a twin bed or a full-sized one, although it might be a bit of a tight fit for a full).
Also, the comforter is reversible, which seems like an important detail to me: According to the product page, one side features “a combination of bold and bright multi-color paw prints with adorable graphics of … Hunter,” while the other has an “energizing stripe pattern” that allows you to “achieve an entirely different look instantly.” Yes, please.
Although Lisa Frank has never exactly gone out of style, the brand did drop off the radar for a bit in the mid-2000s due to dwindling sales and other assorted issues. Recently, though, there’s been a surge in production as the company began teaming up with other brands: A partnership with Glamour Dolls has resulted in a Lisa Frank makeup collection; Target launched Lisa Frank pajamas (for adults!); Reebok cornered the market on Lisa Frank sneakers; heck, you can even have a Lisa Frank debit card if you like.
Indeed, the bedding set looks like it’s been in the works for some time. In August of 2014, the company posted this mysterious message to the official Lisa Frank Facebook page:
And in January of 2015, an image featuring some of the concepts they’d been working on followed:
While a month later in February, yet more design ideas arrived:
Hunter appears to have emerged as the clear winner, beating out Markie the unicorn and Playtime and Sunflower the cats; he was also present on a bedding set that was made available at Kohl’s in November of 2016:
Interestingly, it appears that the Hunter set available at Walmart also initially arrived at around that same time:
It’s anyone’s guess why it’s taken us this long to figure out that Lisa Frank bedding was officially A Thing, but now that we know, WE ARE NEVER GOING BACK.
In some ways, this rainbow-colored resurgence is no surprise; ‘90s nostalgia is still in full swing (bookended by ‘80s nostalgia and early ‘00s nostalgia), and thanks to the healing powers of nostalgia, it’s probably not going to let up anytime soon. I mean it when I say “healing powers of nostalgia,” by the way — there’s a growing body of research that demonstrates its positive effects, which range from counteracting boredom and anxiety to making people more tolerant and generous.
Fun fact: Both Hunter and Forrest are named for Lisa Frank’s kids. “Forrest is based on my 13-year-old, and Hunter is a 17-year-old character who was named the day Hunter was born,” Frank told Urban Outfitters several years ago (around the time UO was selling vintage Lisa Frank objets made between 1988 and 2008).“We had created both characters before the boys were born, and then when they were born, we thought, ‘Oh my gosh, they really do fit their personalities!’”
When I die, I can only hope that my legacy is as fantastic as a multi-colored leopard or cheetah bearing my name. Juuuuust sayin’.