Recently I found out quite a lot about this set from a variety of sources.
|Turns out this is Sakai also.|
Seki and Sakai are sometimes confused, but they were different companies. Seki ceased operation during the Second World War. Sakai Seisakusho Ltd. began operation after the war, offering different products.
From a Seki/Sakai online group, I learned that Sakai manufactured the mystery train set (at right) I've talked about before on this blog. They also made an 0-gauge tinplate train set sporting "Hudson & Pacific" livery that's quite desirable.
I've seen boxed examples on eBay of their H0-gauge switches and tracks. They survived into the 1960s, offering plastic H0 rolling stock and at least one locomotive.
And eventually, I found what I was looking for -- an example of my set in its original box. The set was made by Sakai for Macys Department stores and offered under their Stalwart house brand. Although the example I found only had the train, I'm sure it came originally came complete with track and transformer.
|No question. It's a match. Too bad this example's missing the track and transformer.|
|The headline reads "Macys Own Stalwart H0 Electric Train Set"|
Don't be fooled by the price. In today's dollars, that set would sell for $89.61. This was a premium set offered for a premium price. And well worth it, I think. The quality of the materials and details of construction are in keeping with what one would expect from Macys. Nomura, Straco, and Bandai battery-operated toy train sets may have been good enough for Woolworth's and Western Auto, but not for Macys.