Marvel Comics (not MCU)

Is there an in-universe explanation as to why Ben “The Thing” Grimm of the Fantastic Four resembles a Kronan?

How many ways can you draw a buff dude made of stone?

But, to be fair, the action figure situation exaggerates the resemblance, because action figure manufacturers love to re-use molds.

Both were designed by Jack Kirby within a year of each other?

With good reason: Those molds are crazy expensive, and it takes a lot of $5 action figures for the margin to add up to a profit. They probably couldn’t afford to make that Kronan action figure at all if they didn’t already have most of the mold they needed from a more popular figure.

The Thing’s appearance has changed through time. At first he had irregular “scales” that closely followed the contour of his body:

By about twenty issues in, Kirby was drawing him in a stylized way, with a definite “brow” ridge and regularly-sized “scales” that sort of projected from his body:

One (non comic fan) writer described him as looking as if broken pieces of flowerpots had been glued all over his body, which is sorta accurate.

Later on there were other variations, but these were pretty much intentional, with The Thing getting more extreme “scales” and the like. Nowadays the edges of those “scales” have become more rounded and softened:

In their first appearance in Journey into Mystery 83, the Kronans looked more like the way the Thing would eventually look than The Thing did at the time.

I attribute this to Kirby’s tendency to make everything look as if it’s carved out of stone. Especially threatening creatures. Even what are clearly supposedly sexy women drawn by Kirby often look as if they just stepped from the sculptor’s studio, without having their rough edges adequately polished off.