That's part of the creepy factor, yes. That and the 'designed to make eye contact with children to sell more' thing, which is dystopian as hell. Not to mention the other very deliberate choices based on child psychology, taste addiction and assorted evil science.
But what's most annoying to me (and, based on Rob's previous postings on this subject, also to him) is the untimely death of perfectly nice, well-done, human-oriented design and illustration in favor of some horrible MAXIMUM EXTREEEEM $$$!!!1! ethos.
It's not just a nostalgia thing. I for one was born in 80s Brazil so I didn't 'grow up with' most of those mascots. It's being sad that character designs with personality, quirky but solid graphic design with a childlike sensibility, and a variety of subtle or bold color palettes have all gone down the drain in favor of a uniform and soulless airbrushed crazy-eyed bold italic embossed beveled outlined rainbow saturated buy now damn you mess.
Sure, you might say it's just commercial art, who cares if that went down the toilet when the product itself is promoting child diabetes (or any other loftier, more urgent complaint about low quality, high profit processed foods being a staple of many diets, or the disastrous results of cereal grain subsidizing policies / GMOs / whatever). And you'd have a point. Living with ugly, sad things is still living, and there are more serious issues to worry about. But as you know, we prefer things wonderful around here if we have the choice.