As a Sidney Crosby fan, I am put, somewhat, at a disadvantage from other collectors, in that pretty much anything I go after is multiple times more expensive than other players. One look at Greg Zakwin's Ryan Getzlaf collection reminds me of this on a frequent basis. I don't usually mind quite as much as I sometimes let on, though. After all, I could just as easily focus my attention over to other, cheaper, Penguins like Marc-Andre Fleury, James Neal, or Kris Letang. But I decided to collect Crosby.
The issue that I have now come up with for 2011-2012 products is an issue of redemptions. I have two Crosby autos, both from this year, both stickers, both from Upper Deck products. Looking over ebay, though, it seems as though almost all of Crosby's autos from Panini are redemptions. With Upper Deck apparently having a surplus of Crosby stickers, they have still been able to insert him in products, and that was fine with me. I would simply be purchasing Crosby Upper Deck autos, and they put out a good hockey product, so no big deal.
That is, until the recent release of Panini Prime.
Like a lot of other hockey collectors, I have been working myself into a bit of a feeding frenzy over this product, and REALLY want to bolster my Crosby collection (base and hits) with some of this. However, with it being Panini, anything signed by Crosby is a redemption. (This post is NOT intended to be a slight at Panini, since it is Crosby who hasn't sent his part of the deal back to them. I'm sure they have little control over it at this point.)
My issue is this: So far, it appears as though Crosby hasn't returned his most recent batch of autographed cards/stickers/patches/etc. back to the respective card companies. Now if last season (in which he had his share of injury-related time off) passed, and the off season has (almost...maybe...we'll see...fingers crossed) come and gone without his autos being returned, can I expect that these autographs will ever get filled? Or by purchasing his redemptions, am I rolling the dice, and will more than likely have to settle for an "equal value" replacement?
SPOILER ALERT: I did end up purchasing a Crosby "Letter Patch" auto redemption from Prime, for what I thought was a decent price, so the dice has officially been rolled. I also grabbed up a redemption for an on-card Lemieux auto serial-numbered to 25 from Prime. So, we'll just have to see what happens there.