It isn't, and it never really was. Crash and Sackboy were "once", Toro is forever.Is the mascot still Sackboy or does Sony not have a mascot anymore?
On-topic: Very nice retrospective, just like your Sonic and Mega Man ones. I've also been revisiting the first Crash Bandicoot lately, and I'm finding myself agreeing with your points. As a kid, I never realized how much of a "conservative" platformer Crash really is, outside the different perspective. It makes you appreciate the whole thing much more. There definitely is a shortage of such games nowadays. Makes me wonder why indies rarely ever tackle the 3D platformer genre.